Discharge from the penis

Discharge from the penis

Having girl dogs means that unless the bitch is spayed, you will have to contend with hormones, seasons, phantom pregnancies and the like.  My house is only big enough for one set of girlie hormones and I’m afraid they’re mine!  For this reason, I opt to have boy dogs in my life but the boys do come with their own sex-specific problems too.  One of those “problems” is the production of a discharge from the penis, and often excessive licking (and slurping!)

The discharge is usually of a milky appearance and may have a yellow or green kind of tinge to it.  This discharge is totally normal in male dogs who have not been neutered and is called smegma.  Some dogs produce more than others and the amount can be affected when the dog becomes aroused or is aware of a bitch in heat (as he ejaculates).  Another thing that could result in “gunk” at the tip of the sheath could merely be dried urine if it is more crusty in appearance.

This smegma is generally made up of semen (hence why we say it is entirely normal in intact males) and sebum which the body produces to clean the area.  If this discharge is becoming a problem as he leaves what my friend described as “willy custard” marks (sorry, I know that’s gross) on your carpets or furniture, then the only real solution is to have him neutered either permanently with surgery or as a chemical castration.

A temporary fix for this problem is something called a belly band.  This length of fabric can be worn around the dog’s middle to cover the opening of the sheath and prevent drips and splodges on your soft furnishings.  It is also used for incontinent dogs and those dogs who can’t resist scent marking when you are visiting friends and new places.

Washable Belly Band
Washable Belly Band

I have to say I’m not mad keen on these for any real length of time as it is possible that they cause a warm, moist environment where bacteria would flourish.  If you decide that something of this type might be beneficial for you, please ensure you get a washable version and keep it washed regularly.

If, however, your dog has been neutered and you are seeing this discharge, it could well indicate that there is infection present, particularly if he is licking the penis excessively. If you also notice him peeing more often than usual, in small amounts, it could well be that he also has a bladder infection.  A trip to the vet just to be sure is strongly advised.  If possible, please take a fresh urine sample with you so that your vet can test for the presence of bacteria which obviously would require antibiotics as this is a very uncomfortable problem.

(See our blog on taking a urine sample to help you with this – or wear a rain coat!)

 

Comments

  1. Reply

    My dog is 5 years old and was neutered when i first got him. He has never had any issues with his penis. Now that we have moved into our new house, he is constantly leaking smegma from his sheath. He doesn’t bother to clean it himself. My question is why all of a sudden did he start producing? and is this going to be a permanent thing? or might it just go away?

    • Reply

      Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas. If it has never happened then I would be a little concerned that there may be something going on. It is an entirely normal thing, though much more usual in entire males than in neutered ones. This coupled with the fact you say it didn’t happen before makes me think he may have a small infection. My advice would be to have him checked over by the vet just in case he needs a course of antibiotics.

      Best wishes for 2018

      • Reply

        I’ve just had my boy neutered yesterday so he’s still recovering from the op but I noitced yesterday evening that he’s been leaking smegma. Is this normal after getting a dog neutered? And will it clear up after a while?

        • Reply

          Hi Alice, It will take a few months for hormone levels to settle and subside so I would imagine all that you are seeing is normal smegma that has yet to reduce once the body notices the lack of hormones. Keep an eye on him and if his behaviour changes at all or he seems uncomfortable, give your vet a ring. If you are at all worried about him, then the vet is always your first port of call, just to put your mind at rest.

          Best wishes

  2. Reply

    Now that i saw comment above..our dog is nearly 5 & not neutered, but we never had issue with discharge, a wee bit here and there, however we moved house 9 months ago & it became terrible since , yellow spots all over place, walls, carpets, blankets, furniture, anything and everything is covered in massive patches.. i don’t know why it became so bad after we moved??

    • Reply

      Since leaving your other home, he is now a mature dog (he may still have been quite immature even though he was three) and they are worse for discharge if entire and mature. Is there a bitch nearby that is perhaps triggering his natural secretions more? I would always say that if there is ever a change in your dog either behavioural or physical (such as the amount he is discharging), then it could be that there is a problem so I would suggest a general check up from your vet, just in case, as he may need treatment if there is any kind of infection present.

  3. Reply

    Just got a dog from dogs trust so he had been neutured when we got him 2 days before hand. Didn’t come home with a cone on or anything and over the weekend progressively licked and licked at it even when we tried stopping him so took him to the vet and as we thought he’s now got an infection and has a cone on for a week and on antibiotics twice a day for 5 days.

    He’s been on them for 2 days now.

    Iv noticed at the tip of his penis discharge which looks like that same gunk that’s around his cut, I know 2 days isn’t much which is 3 tablets he’s had.

    But should it be looking better or worse?

    • Reply

      Hi Rach, you’re right, it is still early days but things shouldn’t be looking worse. Generally it takes a couple of days for the antibiotics to get into his system – I’m guessing he probably had an antibiotic injection at the time of his consultation with your vet though as well, which generally gets things moving a bit faster. If you are worried, a quick phone call to the vet just to clarify the situation will help. If it is something straight forward and in line with what they would expect, then they wouldn’t need to see him and will simply put your mind at rest. If, however, it is out of the ordinary for the treatment he has had, then they will ask to see him and perhaps alter his antibiotics to a different type. Please do give them a ring to be on the safe side. good luck Kerry

  4. Reply

    My 9 month old Cocker Spaniel has leaked Smegma for the past 3 months. He has a long coat and it’s stiff under his tummy with this awful stuff. As soon as I wash it off it’s back again…starting to despair, I can’t bath him every day! Any advice other than castration?

    • Reply

      Sadly not … its just “one of those things” with entire males. As he is only 9 months, I agree that castration wouldn’t be a great suggestion – that’s something that should be left until at least 18 months in my opinion. You could try chemical castration at a later date if full castration is not something you want to pursue (I don’t know if you intend to breed him?) but chemical castration usually lasts for around 6-12 months and could give you some breathing space – again though, I would wait until he is fully mature or at the very least a year old.

      • Reply

        Hi Kerry, I’ve had dogs all my life, mainly bitches. This little chap is the 3rd male I’ve owned and the only one to ‘leak’ like this. I’ve got a Consult with my Holistic Vet soon, hopefully she can help….! I don’t agree with castration at an early age either, they need their hormones for growth. I’m not intending to have him castrated at all to be honest, certainly not under the age of 18-24 months. No I’m not intending to use him at Stud, it can change them once they’ve mated. I don’t know if I can live with this Smegma for the next x amount of years though…it gets everywhere and smells too. I’ll just have to keep washing it off I guess!

        • Reply

          Yes, the hormones are essential and unless there is a medical reason for it I never spay my boys either – they are all entire regardless whether we are studding them or not. I hope the holistic vet can offer some channels of approach for this problem and if she can and it works I would LOVE to hear all about it – this kind of thing although small can be such a pain in the bum for guardians to live with so if you come across a solution, even in part, it would be great to be able to share it with our followers.

          Happy New Year … and good luck x

          • I will certainly let you know Kerry. I have great faith in the natural route..
            My last boy had Anal Sac Carcinoma. I knew he wouldn’t cope with Chemo and treated him Holistically. He lived for a further 19 months, and was very well until right at the end…and it’s so very hard when we lose them…the worst pain imaginable. I’m hoping Birgit can help with the Smegma, she really does work wonders. Fingers crossed!!

        • Reply

          I would also love to know if this works as I do not think I can handle another x amount of years with this. It has already caused a ruined couch (no matter how often cleaned) and other furniture and is taking a toll on relationship with other half. Please update!

          • Sadly Ive not heard back from Julie so unsure if she was able to find a holistic route to help 🙁

          • How long does it take the normal smegma to go in dogs? Like How long does it last

          • Hi, Its an ongoing thing with un-neutered dogs Im afraid.

  5. Reply

    I have a beautiful German Male 9 mounths old but is getting really nasty I find disgusting discharge everywhere on the wall, floor, kitchen cabinets, and my spouse don’t want to do any thing about it like fix the dog …I fell really nasty because I am the one who cleans all this…I am so stressed about it is really nasty…

    • Reply

      Hi Maria, Just to clarify, is it the discharge that you say is nasty or is the dog’s behaviour becoming nasty?

      If it is the discharge, then it is most likely it is just a normal part of him maturing. If this is the case, then because he is a large breed dog, I certainly would not be looking to get him fixed so young. He needs time to fully mature all his bones and joints before you have him neutered as these hormones are needed not only to help his joints form properly but also to ensure his temperament as he grows. If you do this procedure too early it can, in some cases, create a fearful dog lacking in confidence which may result in fear aggression. Once he gets to about 18/24 months, it would be a better age to do the surgery then.

      Good luck … 9 months is a tricky age as they start to push the boundaries. Stick with it and have lots and lots of patience and he will come through the other side xx

  6. Reply

    My bf and I got a 3 year old mix from an adoption agency. I just noticed today this discharge which I’m assuming is smegma. He is neutered but I’m wondering if meds can cause it to produce more than normal. He had a seizure about a 2 weeks ago so he is on new medication. He just had a full bloodwork check up and all was clear so I have a feeling it’s not an infection. He isn’t licking excessively, it’s just the gunk. I noticed it on our couches where he lays up against the headrest since he likes to look out the window. Should we still take him to the vet?

    • Reply

      Hi Kiana,

      Without seeing him it would be difficult to say but generally the rule is that if it is “out of the ordinary” then you should speak to your vet to put your mind at rest. We would be thinking of:
      A) How is he behaving? Is he happy in himself or a bit sad or lethargic?
      B) Is he drinking and urinating normally (same amount, colour and frequency)
      C) What colour is the discharge? Is it green or yellow or white and what consistency is it (is it different from the normal amount/colour etc)
      C) Is there any blood in the urine or from the penis itself?

      If any of these things seem different, then the best thing to do would be to phone your vet and just ask. At the moment with the pandemic, most vets are avoiding seeing their clients unless this is absolutely necessary so I would imagine they would be perfectly happy just to discuss it over the phone rather than needing an actual appointment.

      Best wishes

      R2S

  7. Reply

    Hi
    I have a 5 year old sausage dog and the past 12months he has been leaking a smelly white discharge. He was desexed as a puppy.
    I’ve taken him to vets and they gave him antibiotics which worked but it has come back. They have also tried allergy tablets thinking it was allergy related but that didn’t work.
    What should I do? It doesn’t seem to bother him but the smell is very strong

    • Reply

      Hi Alicia, if the tablets worked but it has come back, then I would suggest returning to your vet and have a swab taken of the discharge to ensure you are treating with the correct antibiotic.

  8. Reply

    Please check if he is eating or drinking anything outside or generally when we move to a new house, dogs will be extremely happy to dig some new places to roam around.. so check for that.. and please look at the article on DIY Smegma cleaning your dog

  9. Reply

    Hi there. So I have 2 male boxers. 1 is 9yrs old and the other is 4 yrs old. Neither are fixed. The older one fathered the younger one so needless to say they have been with each other since the younger boy was born. Never had issues with them being dominant towards each other, so getting the 4yr old fixed didn’t seem necessary. Ok, so back in April, my 10 yr old female boxer died suddenly. She is also the biological parent of the 4 yr old. However she was spayed after he was born. In fact, it was clear she was the pack leader in our home. The boys still didn’t “test” each other even after she passed. If anything they got so much closer and reliant on each other. Fast forward to 3 weeks ago and my husband surprised me with an 8 wk old little boxer girl. Everything seemed to be good but then 2 days after bringing her home and we are at the Emergency vet with her. Parvo. Even though the vet wasn’t very optimistic about her survival, especially since I couldn’t afford to hospitalize her, we brought her home and I gave her around the clock care for 5 days straight. I am happy to say she did in fact survive and we are now on week 2 of no parvo symptoms. Both my boys are vaccinated, however they both seemed to have a day or two here and there where they didn’t feel good. I had them both to the vet and was calling almost everyday asking something either with her or the boys, the vet basically checked them for parvo and said they were fine. I also want to note that because of Covid restrictions, not once was I allowed to go in with them or talk to the vet myself. I’ve had to wait in the car(even at the ER hospital) and talk to the vet techs when they came to take them in or would call me in the parking lot. So I have no idea what kind of exam was done, idk if everything was relayed, ect… That brings me to now. The passed 3 days we have been noticing droplets of blood here and there on the floor. I looked all 3 over and over again but couldn’t find the source. No kidding, I’ve been all up in thier business, constantly looking them over, checking for signs of anything off really and where the blood was coming from. Doing so I noticed the 4 yr old has started having a clear discharge from his penis. Its more then a droplet or two also. If hes laying on his side, it will leave a wet spot on the floor or bed. But there is no color or order to it. Then tonight I found where the blood was coming from, hence what lead me here. The 9 yr old is having bloody droplets from his penis. He can be sleeping and when he get up the blood appears. I cleaned the outside of the opening with a cotton ball and witch hazel. He wasn’t bothered at all and I didn’t find any cuts. With the puppy being small enough she can literally stand underneath them both, I thought maybe she bit him playing, but didn’t see any if that. While I was cleaning, a little more clear liquid with blood came out. He wasn’t bothered by me touching him or cleaning him. He hasn’t shown any signs of having problems peeing or bloody pee even. His belly doesn’t seem sensitive or painful. Are the boys possibly having these reactions because of the new female puppy? Is something about her being here or maybe even the parvo causing them both to now be “arousaled” for lack of better words? Thanks for reading all that. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    • Reply

      Hi Jenn,
      Bloody discharge from the penis can be a sign of a urinary infection, obstruction, stones, prostitis etc. My first advice would be to get an appointment for your dog to be examined by the vet as soon as you can. When you know when the appointment will be, get a sample of pee from him that morning and take it with you so they can test it straight away. Make sure the container you catch it in is spotlessly clean so it doesn’t interfere with any of the results (even a slight trace of sugar can really play havoc with the tests). It might be that he needs a course of antibiotics but certainly he needs to be checked over in case his prostate is enlarged.

      I appreciate it’s difficult with covid etc but at 9 years old, prostate problems are very common in unneutered dogs. Best wishes and good luck xx

  10. Reply

    Hi there,
    We have a 9week old Dobermann and I noticed some green discharge… is he too young and could it be something else?
    TIA

    • Reply

      Hi Bev,

      I wouldn’t have expected green discharge from a pup as young as 9 weeks. I would give your vet a ring just to check what they say as it may be that he has picked up a little infection.

  11. Reply

    Is there a limit in age to neuter a dog ?

    • Reply

      Hi Al,

      No, neutering should be able to be done at any age provided the dog is not an anaesthetic risk.

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